Philip Vega, underworld boss, is master of all and subservient to no one. Strong, powerful and seemingly invincible. A man to be feared...When Vega falls in love with another man's wife - his empire and his life are threatened.
Mark L. Lester
Catherine Mary Stewart,
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Mark L. Lester
Fred Dowd, Brad Vorman, and Walt Gearson are ex-convicts who devise a plan that will potentially make them millionaires. After stalking famous movie star Candy Tyler, they break into her house, knock her unconscious with chloroform, and take her to a secluded cabin. There, they force Candy to shoot a pornography video that is broadcast live on the Internet to people who pay a fee to watch. The video is a success, but tensions between the three criminals soon come to a head. Written by
Stealing Candy certainly isn't a "perfect" film, but for what it is, it's not at all bad--it kept me more than entertained, it was both sexy and thrilling, filled with tension, and the twists were done well.
The most obvious flaws are technical, but this is clearly a low budget film. Either the original film or the DVD transfer is "low definition" rather than high, and too many times it's obvious that the cinematography goes a bit out of focus. It has almost a home video texture--for a moment, I was afraid that this was going to be a no-budget stinker.
But the script is good, the performances are fun (if a bit campy, but I like that), and Mark Lester is a capable director. It helps that Jenya Lano is incredibly sexy in this, but the thrust of Stealing Candy is a crime-thriller film with a twist--in ways reminiscent of the superior Suicide Kings (1997), but without the black comedy.
That might seem to suggest that Stealing Candy is derivative, and that wouldn't be wrong--aside from Suicide Kings, it has similarities to many other films, including another excellent heist-gone-wrong flick, Killing Zoe (1994). Most oddly on this end is that scorer Dana Kaproff must have been commanded by Lester to, "Write something that sounds like Bernard Herrmann here", and you could swear that the result doesn't just sound Herrmannian, but that it was actually lifted from a Hitchcock film. That's one of many things that telegraphs some twists to come, but Lester pretty skillfully "misdirects" us from expecting particular twists, too.
At any rate, if you're someone who subtracts major points for derivativeness and lack of technical polish, approach Stealing Candy with caution, but if you're like me--you do not demand that films belong to the cult of originality and you enjoy a bit of cheese in your thrillers (we even get the cheesiest Baldwin brother here, Daniel--I'm a big fan of the Baldwin brothers' work), then this is worth a watch.
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